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‘Blue Flag’ tag

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    28th Sep, 2021

Context

Kovalam beach in Tamil Nadu and Eden beach in Puducherry have been granted Blue Flag certification.

The newly certified beaches

  • Kovalam Beach is located on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal near the village Covelong in the Kanchipuram district about 40 kilometres away from Chennai.
  • Eden Beach in situated in Chinna Veerampattinam near Puducherry.
  • With this latest addition, India now has 10 beaches which have received the Blue Flag Tag. Previously certified beaches in India are as given below:
    1. Shivrajpur in Gujarat
    2. Ghoghla in Diu
    3. Kasarkod
    4. Padubidri in Karnataka
    5. Kappad in Kerala
    6. Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh
    7. Golden in Odisha
    8. Radhanagar in Andaman and Nicobar

What does Blue Flag status mean?

  • The Blue Flag is one of the world's most recognized voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators.
  • To qualify for a Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria must be fulfilled and maintained.
  • A waving “Blue Flag" is an indication of 100% compliance to these 33 stringent criteria and sound health of the beach. These criterias are divided into 4 major heads namely-
    • Environmental education and information
    • Bathing water quality
    • Environmental management 
    • Conservation and safety services in the beaches
  • The Blue Flag programme was started in France in 1985 and in areas out of Europe in 2001.

Who gives this award?

  • Foundation for Environment Education (FEE) in Denmark awards the certification.
  • It is accorded by International Jury comprising of members from IUCN, UNWTO, UNEP, UNESCO etc.

Foundation for Environment Education (FEE) 

  • FEE is the world's largest environmental education organisation, with members in 77 countries.
  • It is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development through environmental education.
  • The organization is active in five programmes: 
    • Blue Flag
    • Eco-Schools
    • Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE)
    • Learning about Forests (LEAF)
    • Green Key International 

Indian initiatives for sustainable development of coastal regions

  • Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS)
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) initiatives
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